Bibliography Of Japan Earthquake Magnitude

The earthquake and tsunami

The magnitude-9.0 earthquake struck at 2:46 pm. (The early estimate of magnitude 8.9 was later revised upward.) The epicentre was located some 80 miles (130 km) east of the city of Sendai, Miyagi prefecture, and the focus occurred at a depth of 18.6 miles (about 30 km) below the floor of the western Pacific Ocean. The earthquake was caused by the rupture of a stretch of the subduction zone associated with the Japan Trench, which separates the Eurasian Plate from the subducting Pacific Plate. (Some geologists argue that this portion of the Eurasian Plate is actually a fragment of the North American Plate called the Okhotsk microplate.) A part of the subduction zone measuring approximately 190 miles (300 km) long by 95 miles (150 km) wide lurched as much as 164 feet (50 metres) to the east-southeast and thrust upward about 33 feet (10 metres). The March 11 temblor was felt as far away as Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia; Kao-hsiung, Taiwan; and Beijing, China. It was preceded by several foreshocks, including a magnitude-7.2 event centred approximately 25 miles (40 km) away from the epicentre of the main quake. Hundreds of aftershocks, dozens of magnitude 6.0 or greater and two of magnitude 7.0 or greater, followed in the days and weeks after the main quake. (Nearly two years later, on December 7, 2012, a magnitude-7.3 tremor originated from the same plate boundary region. The quake caused no injuries and little damage.) The March 11, 2011, earthquake was the strongest to strike the region since the beginning of record keeping in the late 19th century, and it is considered one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded. It was later reported that a satellite orbiting at the outer edge of Earth’s atmosphere that day had detected infrasonics (very low-frequency sound waves) from the quake.

The sudden horizontal and vertical thrusting of the Pacific Plate, which has been slowly advancing under the Eurasian Plate near Japan, displaced the water above and spawned a series of highly destructive tsunami waves. A wave measuring some 33 feet high inundated the coast and flooded parts of the city of Sendai, including its airport and the surrounding countryside. According to some reports, one wave penetrated some 6 miles (10 km) inland after causing the Natori River, which separates Sendai from the city of Natori to the south, to overflow. Damaging tsunami waves struck the coasts of Iwate prefecture, just north of Miyagi prefecture, and Fukushima, Ibaraki, and Chiba, the prefectures extending along the Pacific coast south of Miyagi. In addition to Sendai, other communities hard-hit by the tsunami included Kamaishi and Miyako in Iwate; Ishinomaki, Kesennuma, and Shiogama in Miyagi; and Kitaibaraki and Hitachinaka in Ibaraki. As the floodwaters retreated back to the sea, they carried with them enormous quantities of debris, as well as thousands of victims caught in the deluge. Large stretches of land were left submerged under seawater, particularly in lower-lying areas.

The earthquake triggered tsunami warnings throughout the Pacific basin. The tsunami raced outward from the epicentre at speeds that approached about 500 miles (800 km) per hour. It generated waves 11 to 12 feet (3.3 to 3.6 metres) high along the coasts of Kauai and Hawaii in the Hawaiian Islands chain and 5-foot (1.5-metre) waves along the island of Shemya in the Aleutian Islands chain. Several hours later 9-foot (2.7-metre) tsunami waves struck the coasts of California and Oregon in North America. Finally, some 18 hours after the quake, waves roughly 1 foot (0.3 metre) high reached the coast of Antarctica and caused a portion of the Sulzberger Ice Shelf to break off its outer edge.

"Japanese earthquake" redirects here. For the 11 March 2011 earthquake in the Tōhoku region, see 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.

This is a list of earthquakes in Japan with either a magnitude greater than or equal to 7.0 or which caused significant damage or casualties. As indicated below, magnitude is measured on the Richter magnitude scale (ML) or the moment magnitude scale (Mw), or the surface wave magnitude scale (Ms) for very old earthquakes. The present list is not exhaustive, and reliable and precise magnitude data is scarce for earthquakes that occurred prior to the development of modern measuring instruments.

Geological background[edit]

The islands of Japan are primarily the result of several large oceanic movements occurring over hundreds of millions of years from the mid-Silurian to the Pleistocene as a result of the subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate beneath the continental Amurian Plate and Okinawa Plate to the south, and subduction of the Pacific Plate under the Okhotsk Plate to the north.

Japan was originally attached to the eastern coast of the Eurasian continent. The subducting plates, being deeper than the Eurasian plate, pulled Japan eastward, opening the Sea of Japan around 15 million years ago.[2] The Strait of Tartary and the Korea Strait opened much later. Today the Japanese archipelago is considered a mature island arc and is the result of several generations of subducting plates. Approximately 15,000 km of oceanic floor has passed under the Japanese area in the last 450 million years, with most being fully subducted.[2]

Japan is situated in a volcanic zone on the Pacific Ring of Fire.[2] Frequent low intensity earth tremors and occasional volcanic activity are felt throughout the islands. Destructive earthquakes, often resulting in tsunamis, occur several times a century.


Although there is mention of an earthquake in Yamato in what is now Nara Prefecture on August 23, 416, the first to be reliably documented took place in Nara prefecture on May 28, 599 during the reign of Empress Suiko, destroying buildings throughout Yamato province.[3][4][5] Many historical records of Japanese earthquakes exist, and the Imperial Earthquake Investigation Committee was created in 1892 to conduct a systematic collation of the available historical data, published in 1899 as the Catalogue of Historical Data on Japanese Earthquakes.[5] Following the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake, the Imperial Earthquake Investigation Committee was superseded by the Earthquake Research Institute in 1925.[4] In modern times, the catalogues compiled by Tatsuo Usami are considered to provide the most authoritative source of information on historic earthquakes, with the 2003 edition detailing 486 that took place between 416 and 1888.[4]

Earthquake measurement[edit]

In Japan, the shindo scale is commonly used to measure earthquakes by seismic intensity instead of magnitude. This is similar to the Modified Mercalli scale used in the United States or the Liedu scale used in China, meaning that the scale measures the intensity of an earthquake at a given location instead of measuring the energy an earthquake releases at its epicenter (its magnitude) as the Richter scale does.[6]

Unlike other seismic intensity scales, which normally have twelve levels of intensity, shindo(震度, seismic intensity, literally "degree of shaking") as used by the Japan Meteorological Agency is a unit with ten levels, ranging from shindo zero, a very light tremor, to shindo seven, a severe earthquake.[6] Intermediate levels for earthquakes with shindo five and six are "weak" or "strong", according to the degree of destruction they cause. Earthquakes measured at shindo four and lower are considered to be weak to mild, while those measured at five and above can cause heavy damage to furniture, wall tiles, wooden houses, reinforced concrete buildings, roads, gas and water pipes.[6]


This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

DateMagnitudeName of quakeJapanese nameRōmaji nameEpicenterDeath tollDescription
000000000684-11-29-0000November 29, 684 (Gregorian calendar)
000000000684-11-26-0000November 26, 684 (Julian calendar)
8.4 MK(Kawasumi scale)[7]Hakuhou Nankai earthquake白鳳南海地震Hakuhou Nankai jishin32°48′N134°18′E / 32.8°N 134.3°E / 32.8; 134.3000500101–1000Various references estimate the quake's magnitude at 8.0 to 8.4, with damage being "severe". The dates of the quake have also been listed variously as October 14 (incorrect date) and November 24.[8]
000000000745-06-05-0000June 5, 745(G)
000000000745-06-01-0000June 1, 745(J)
7.9 MKoccurred at Minoh天平地震Tenbyou jishin34°48′N135°30′E / 34.8°N 135.5°E / 34.8; 135.5 Some references describe the quake as occurring on June 9[9]
000000000869-07-13-0000July 13, 869(G)
000000000869-07-09-0000July 9, 869(J)
8.9 MK869 Jogan Sanriku earthquake貞観三陸地震Jōgan Sanriku jishin38°30′N143°48′E / 38.5°N 143.8°E / 38.5; 143.80010001,000+[10]The resulting tsunami caused extensive flooding of the Sendai plain, destroying the town of Tagajō.[11]
000000001293-05-27-0000May 27, 1293(G)
000000001293-05-20-0000May 20, 1293(J)
7.31293 Kamakura earthquake鎌倉大地震Kamakura Daijishin35°12′N139°24′E / 35.2°N 139.4°E / 35.2; 139.402302423,024[12]The earthquake struck close to the city of Kamakura, Kanagawa and its magnitude has been estimated in the 7.1–7.5 range.[13] It possibly triggered a tsunami (though not all experts agree)[14][15] and the death toll has been reported as 23,024.[12]
000000001361-08-03-0000August 3, 1361(G)
000000001361-07-26-0000July 26, 1361(J)
8.3 MShōhei earthquake正平南海地震Shōhei Nankai Jishin33°00′N135°00′E / 33.0°N 135.0°E / 33.0; 135.0Triggered a tsunami.[16][17]
000000001498-09-20-0000September 20, 1498(G)
000000001498-09-11-0000September 11, 1498(J)
8.6 MK1498 Meiō Nankaidō earthquake明応地震Meiō jishin34°00′N138°06′E / 34.0°N 138.1°E / 34.0; 138.103100031,000[18]Occurred off the coast of Nankai, Japan, at about 08:00 local time on 20 September 1498. It had a magnitude estimated at 8.6 [18] MS and triggered a large tsunami. The death toll associated with this event is uncertain, but 31,000 casualties were reported.[19]
000000001586-01-18-0000January 18, 15867.9 MKTensho or Ise Bay earthquake天正大地震Tenshō DaijishinSome islands in Ise Bay reportedly disappeared[20][21]
000000001605-02-03-0000February 3, 16057.9 MK1605 Keichō Nankaidō earthquake慶長大地震Keichō Daijishin33°30′N138°30′E / 33.5°N 138.5°E / 33.5; 138.50050005,000+[22]The 1605 Keichō Nankaidō earthquake occurred at about 20:00 local time on 3 February. It had an estimated magnitude of 7.9 on the surface wave magnitude scale and triggered a devastating tsunami that resulted in thousands of deaths in the Nankai and Tōkai regions of Japan. It is uncertain whether there were two separate earthquakes separated by a short time interval or a single event. It is referred to as a tsunami earthquake, in that the size of the tsunami greatly exceeds that expected from the magnitude of the earthquake.[23]
000000001611-09-27-0000September 27, 16116.9 MK1611 Aizu earthquake会津地震Aizu JishinAizu basin, (Present day of Fukushima Prefecture)0037003,700+ (Official estimate)According to official estimated report, more than 3,700 human fatalities. Aizuwakamatsu Castle, many temples, and 20,000 houses collapsed in the damaged areas.
000000001611-12-02-0000December 2, 16118.11611 Keicho Sanriku earthquake慶長三陸地震Keicho Sanriku Daijishin39°00′N144°24′E / 39.0°N 144.4°E / 39.0; 144.40020002,000+Occurred on December 2, 1611 with an epicenter off the Sanriku coast in Iwate Prefecture. The magnitude of the earthquake was 8.1M.[24]
000000001662-06-16-0000June 16, 1662M7¼ - 7.61662 Kanbun Ōmi and Wakasa earthquake寛文近江・若狭地震kanbun Ōmi wakasa jishinLake Biwa south700-900[25]Strong tremor in Ōmi · Wakasa area. This earthquake is causing crustal deformation(East of Lake Suigetsu:Rose 4.5 meter).[26]
000000001703-12-31-0000December 31, 17038.0 ML1703 Genroku earthquake元禄大地震Genroku DaijishinEdo005233 5,233This earthquake shook Edo and killed an estimated 2,300 people. The earthquake is thought to have been an interplate earthquake whose focal region extended from Sagami Bay to the tip of the Bōsō Peninsula as well as the area along the Sagami Trough in the open sea southeast of the Boso Peninsula. This earthquake then resulted in a tsunami which hit the coastal areas of the Boso Peninsula and Sagami Bay. The tsunami was reported to have caused more than 100,000 fatalities.
000000001707-10-28-0000October 28, 17078.6 ML1707 Hōei earthquake宝永地震Hōei jishinOff the Kii Peninsula0050005,000+Struck both the Nankaidō and Tokai regions, causing moderate to severe damage throughout southwestern Honshu, Shikoku and southeastern Kyūshū.[27]
000000001771-04-24-0000April 24, 17717.4 MK1771 Great Yaeyama Tsunami八重山地震Yaeyama jishin24°00′N124°18′E / 24.0°N 124.3°E / 24.0; 124.301348613,486[28]The 1771 Great Yaeyama Tsunami (also called 明和の大津波, the Great Tsunami of Meiwa) was caused by the Yaeyama Great Earthquake at about 8 A.M. on April 24. 13,486 people (including 9,313 in Yaeyama Islands (8,815 in Ishigaki Island), 2,548 in Miyako Islands and 1,625 in other areas) were confirmed to be dead or missing and more than 3,000 houses were destroyed.[28] The height of the tsunami was over 40 meters at Ishigaki Island, up to a maximum of 85.4 meters in the village called Miyara. In Tarama, estimated tsunami runup height was approximately 18 meters. To this day, boulders reportedly launched by the tsunami (called "tsunami stones") remain in the northwestern highlands of Miyakojima. According to unverified local legend, a small unnamed island in the area was swallowed by the tsunami and disappeared.
000000001792-05-21-0000May 21, 17926.4 MK1792 Unzen earthquake and tsunami島原大変肥後迷惑Unzen jishin
(Shimabara Taihen Higo Meiwaku)
32°48′N130°18′E / 32.8°N 130.3°E / 32.8; 130.301544815,448[29] An earthquake caused by volcanic activity of Mount Unzen (in the Shimabara Peninsula Nagasaki, Japan). It killed 15,000 people altogether, due in large part to a tsunami that was triggered by the collapse of nearby Mount Mayuyama's southern flank into the bay. The incident is also referred to with the phrase 'Shimabara erupted, Higo affected' (岛原大変肥后迷惑), as many people in Higo, (Kumamoto, located 20 km away across the Ariake Sea) were also killed by the resulting tsunami, which then bounced back to hit Shimabara again.[29]
Changes to the Ariake Sea coastline, in the center of Mount Unzen, Kumamoto Prefecture (right) and the Amakusa Islands (see below) were affected by the tsunami
000000001828-12-18-0000December 18, 18286.9 MK1828 Echigo Sanjō earthquake越後三条地震Echigo Sanjō JishinSanjo, Niigata Prefecture (then Echigo Province)0015591,559 (official confirmed)According to the official confirmed report, 21,134 houses and buildings were damaged, and 1,204 of them burned down. There were 1,559 human fatalities, and 2,666 injured people in the affected area.
000000001847-05-08-0000May 8, 18477.3 M1847 Zenkōji earthquake善光寺地震Zenkōji JishinNagano Basin (then Shinano Province)0086008,600+In the central area of Nagano, many buildings collapsed, including Zenkōji temple. The earthquake triggered a complex variety of resulting disasters, which included fires, landslides, and flooding due to the formation and subsequent collapse of a "dam" made of debris from the collapsed buildings. According to the confirmed official report, the death toll throughout the region reached at least 8,600. 21,000 houses were damaged and 3,400 burned, and an additional 44,000 homes were damaged by the landslides in the area.
000000001854-07-09-0000July 9, 18547.25 'MK1854 Iga Ueno earthquake伊賀上野地震Iga Ueno JishinIga, Mie Prefecture (then Iga Province)000995995 (official confirmed)According to the official confirmed report, 2,576 houses and buildings were damaged, with 995 human fatalities and 994 injures in the affected area.
000000001854-12-23-0000December 23, 18548.4 MK1854 Ansei-Tōkai earthquake安政東海地震Ansei Tōkai JishinSuruga Bay0020002,000 (estimated)[30]The epicenter ranged from Suruga Bay to the deep ocean, and the quake struck primarily in the Tōkai region, but destroyed houses as far away as in Edo. The accompanying tsunami caused damage along the entire coast from the Bōsō Peninsula in modern-day Chiba prefecture to Tosa province (modern-day Kōchi Prefecture).[31]
000000001854-12-24-0000December 24, 18548.4 MKAnsei-Nankai earthquake安政南海地震Ansei Nankai JishinNankai Trough01000010,000+Over 10,000 people from the Tōkai region down to Kyushu were killed.[31]
000000001855-11-11-0000November 11, 18556.9 MKAnsei Edo earthquake安政江戸地震Ansei Edo JishinEdo, near the mouth of the Arakawa River006641 !6,641One hundred and twenty earthquakes and tremors in total were felt in Edo in 1854–55. The great earthquake struck after 10 o'clock in the evening; roughly 30 aftershocks ensued, continuing until dawn. Records from the time indicate 6,641 deaths inside the city and 2,759 injuries; much of the city was destroyed by fire, leading many people to stay in rural inns. Aftershocks continued for twenty days.[31]
000000001858-04-09-0000April 9, 18587.0Hietsu earthquake飛越地震Hietsu JishinAtotsugawa Fault000200200–300It occurred on the Atotsugawa Fault, which connects Mount Tate in Toyama Prefecture and the Amō Pass in Gifu Prefecture on the island of Honshū in Japan. Its name includes one kanji from Hida(飛騨国) and one from Etchū(越中国), the names of the provinces that were in use at the time. The earthquake is estimated to have killed 200–300 people. It also caused the Mount Tonbi Landslide and blocked the upper reaches of the Jōganji River.[32]
000000001872-03-18-0000March 18, 18727.1 MK1872 Hamada earthquake浜田地震Hamada Jishinoff coast Hamada, Shimane Prefecture000551551 (official confirmed)According to the official confirmed report, 4506 houses were damaged by the earthquake, 230 houses were burned, 551 people were killed, and landslides destroyed 6567 homes in the affected area. This quake occurred at 16:40 local time.
000000001889-07-28-0000July 28, 18896.31889 Kumamoto earthquake熊本地震Kumamoto JishinTatsuda fault00002020First major earthquake after the establishment of the Seismological Society of Japan in 1880.
000000001891-10-28-0000October 28, 18918.0 ML1891 Mino–Owari earthquake美濃・尾張地震Mino Owari JishinNeodani Fault0072737,273A large earthquake that struck the former provinces of Mino and Owari in the Nōbi Plain area during the Meiji period in Japan. It is also referred to as the Nōbi Earthquake (濃尾地震 Nōbi Jishin) or the Great Nōbi Earthquake (濃尾大地震 Nōbi Daijishin).
000000001894-06-20-0000June 20, 18946.6 MLMeiji Tokyo earthquake明治東京地震Meiji-Tokyo JishinTokyo Bay00003131This earthquake occurred in Tokyo, Japan at 14:04 on June 20, 1894. It affected downtown Tokyo and neighboring Kanagawa prefecture, especially the cities of Kawasaki and Yokohama.[33] The depth of the 1894 earthquake has not been determined, but it is thought to have occurred within the subducting Pacific Plate under the Kantō region.[34] The death toll was 31 killed and 157 injured.
000000001894-10-22-0000October 22, 18947.0 ML1894 Shōkai earthquake庄内地震Shōnai JishinSakata, Yamagata Prefecture000726726 (Official confirmed)According to the official confirmed report, 14,118 houses and buildings were damaged and 2,148 were burned. There were 726 human fatalities and 8,403 people injured in the damaged area. A large-scale fire broke out in Sakata, and around the Shonai plain area, many instances of cracked earth, sinking ground, sand boils, and fountains were observed.
000000001896-06-15-0000June 15, 18968.5 MLMeiji-Sanriku earthquake明治三陸地震Meiji Sanriku Jishin 02200022,000+[35]This quake occurred off the coast of Sanriku in Iwate Prefecture, which caused a tsunami of 25 m (82 ft) to strike 35 minutes after the quake, destroying hundreds of houses and killed over 22,000 people. Tsunami were also observed as far away as Hawaii and in California.[36][37]
000000001923-09-01-0000September 1, 19238.3 ML1923 Great Kantō earthquake大正関東地震
Taishō Kantō Jishin
(Kantō Daishinsai)
Izu Ōshima142800 142,800[38]An earthquake which struck the Kantō plain on the Japanese main island of Honshū at 11:58 on the morning of September 1, 1923. Varied accounts hold that the duration of the earthquake was between 4 and 10 minutes. The quake had an epicenter deep beneath Izu Ōshima Island in Sagami Bay. It devastated Tokyo, the port city of Yokohama, and the surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Shizuoka, and caused widespread damage throughout the Kantō region.[39] The power and intensity of the earthquake is easy to underestimate, but the 1923 earthquake managed to move the 93-ton Great Buddha statue at Kamakura. The statue slid forward almost two feet.[40] Casualty estimates range up to about 142,800 deaths, a figure including approximately 40,000 who went missing and were presumed dead.
000000001925-05-23-0000May 23, 19256.8 ML1925 Kita Tajima earthquake北但馬地震Kita Tajima JishinToyooka in Hyogo Prefecture000428428This earthquake's epicenter was (35.6 degrees north latitude, 134.8 degrees east longitude), in the Maruyama River estuary. According to the Japanese government's official report, there were 428 human fatalities, 1,016 people injured, 7,863 buildings destroyed, and 45,659 houses damaged by collapse or fire. This quake caused extensive damage to the town of Toyooka and the Maruyama River area. Just before the shaking could be felt, a sound like a cannon was reportedly heard intermittently from the direction of the estuary near the Maruyama River. During the earthquake, the ground in the town of Tokyooka experienced strong seismic vibrations for 16 seconds. As most of the buildings of the time were wooden, many of them were destroyed at once during the initial earthquake. In the fire that broke out subsequently, half of Toyooka was burned down, with many deaths resulting (a reported 8% of the town's population.) 272 deaths were confirmed to have occurred in the Kinosaki area.
000000001927-03-07-0000March 7, 19277.6 ML1927 Kita Tango earthquake北丹後地震Kita Tango JishinTango Peninsula in Kyoto Prefecture0030203,020Almost all of the houses in Mineyama (now part of Kyōtango) were destroyed, and the quake was felt as far away as Tokyo and Kagoshima.[41]
000000001930-11-26-0000November 26, 19307.3 Ms1930 North Izu earthquake1930年北伊豆地震Sen-kyūhyaku-sanjū-nen Kita-Izu JishinIzu Peninsula000272272
000000001933-03-02-0000March 2, 19338.4 Mw[42]1933 Sanriku earthquake昭和三陸地震Shōwa Sanriku Jishin290 km (180 mi) east of the city of Kamaishi, Iwate0030003,000+ A major earthquake whose associated tsunami caused widespread damage to towns on the Sanriku coast of the Tōhoku region of Honshū, Japan in 1933.[43]
Kamaishi Bay, Iwate after 1933 earthquake and tsunami
000000001936-11-03-0000November 3, 19367.2 Ms1936 Miyagi earthquake1936年宮城県沖地震Sen-kyūhyaku-sanjūroku-nen Miyagi-ken-oki Jishinoffshore Miyagi
000000001943-09-10-0000September 10, 19437.2 ML1943 Tottori earthquake鳥取地震Tottori Jishinoffshore from Ketaka District0010831,083An earthquake which occurred in Tottori prefecture, Japan at 17:36 on September 10, 1943. Although the earthquake occurred during World War II, information about the disaster was surprisingly uncensored, and relief volunteers and supplies came from many parts of the Japanese empire, including Manchukuo. The Tottori earthquake had its epicenter offshore from Ketaka District, now part of Tottori city, with a magnitude of 7.2 on the Richter Scale. The magnitude of the earthquake was 6.0 in Tottori city, and 5.0 as far away as Okayama on the Inland Sea.[44]
000000001944-12-07-0000December 7, 19448.1 Mw1944 Tōnankai earthquake昭和東南海地震Shōwa Tōnankai Jishin34°00′N137°06′E / 34.0°N 137.1°E / 34.0; 137.10012231,223This earthquake occurred on Dec. 7, 1944, at 13:35 local time (04:35 UTC). Its moment magnitude was 8.1 and it was felt with a maximum intensity of 5 on the Shindo scale (or VII, "Severe", on the Mercalli intensity scale). It struck the provinces along the coast of the Tokai region, causing serious damage and triggering a tsunami. The earthquake and tsunami combined killed 1,223 people, with injuries reported to have affected 20,000 people or more.[45]
000000001945-01-13-0000January 13, 19456.8 ML1945 Mikawa earthquake三河地震Mikawa JishinMikawa Bay0011801180 + 1126 missingAn earthquake which occurred off Mie and Aichi prefectures, Japan at 03:38 on January 13, 1945. As the earthquake occurred during World War II, information about the disaster was censored, and efforts at keeping the disaster secret hampered relief efforts and contributed to a high death toll.[46] The Mikawa earthquake had its epicenter offshore in Mikawa Bay (34°42.1′N137°6.8′E / 34.7017°N 137.1133°E / 34.7017; 137.1133 at a depth of eleven kilometers). The city of Tsu recorded a magnitude of 6 on the Richter Scale; however, areas in southern Aichi prefecture were closer to the epicenter, and suffered significant damage.
000000001946-12-20-0000December 20, 19468.1 Mw1946 Nankaidō earthquake昭和南海地震Shōwa Nankai JishinNankai Trough0013621,362A major earthquake in Nankaidō, Japan. Occurred on December 20, 1946 at 19:19 UTC. The earthquake was felt from Northern Honshū to Kyūshū.[47]
000000001948-06-28-0000June 28, 19487.1 Mw1948 Fukui earthquake福井地震Fukui Jishinnear Maruoka, Fukui0037693,769A major earthquake in Fukui Prefecture, Japan. It struck at 5:13 p.m. on June 28, 1948 (the then Japan Daylight Saving Time; JDT). The strongest shaking occurred in the city of Fukui, where it was recorded as 6 (equivalent to the current 7) on the Japan Meteorological Agency seismic intensity scale. The coordinates of the earthquake were 36゜10.3'N 136゜17.4'E (around the town of Maruoka).[48]
000000001952-03-04-0000March 4, 19528.1 Mw1952 Hokkaido earthquake1952年十勝沖地震Sen-kyūhyaku-goūjūni-nen Tokachi-Oki Jishin42°18′N144°54′E / 42.3°N 144.9°E / 42.3; 144.900002828The 1952 Hokkaido earthquake took place around March 4, 1952 in the sea east of Hokkaido. On the Moment magnitude scale, it measured 8.1. Casualties occurred due to the earthquake.[49]
000000001964-06-16-0000June 16, 19647.6 Mw1964 Niigata earthquake新潟地震Niigata Jishin50 km north of Niigata00002626The earthquake caused widespread soil liquefaction in the city of Niigata, resulting in unusually high levels of damage to buildings for the felt intensity.[50]
000000001968-04-01-0000April 1, 19687.5 Mw1968 Hyūga-nada earthquake1968年日向灘地震Sen-kyūhyaku-rokujūhachi-nen Hyūga-nada JishinHyūga-nada Sea[51]
000000001968-05-16-0000May 16, 19688.2 Mw1968 Tokachi earthquake1968年十勝沖地震Sen-kyūhyaku-rokujūhachi-nen Tokachi-oki JishinOffshore of Misawa, Japan00005252This earthquake struck off the coast of Honshu Island, near Misawa Japan, Aomori Prefecture, and was followed by a significant tsunami. The earthquake and ensuing tsunami claimed 52 lives and resulted in significant material damage in Northern Japan.[52][53]
000000001974-05-09-0000May 9, 19746.5 Ms1974 Izu Peninsula earthquake1974年伊豆半島沖地震Sen-kyūhyaku-nanajūyo-nen Izu-hantō-oki Jishinnear Izu Peninsula00002525
000000001978-06-12-0000June 12, 19787.7 Ms1978 Miyagi earthquake宮城県沖地震Miyagi-ken-oki jishinjust offshore Miyagi Prefecture00002828Damage was greatest around Sendai, and the earthquake triggered widespread landslides.[54][55]
000000001983-05-26-0000May 26, 19837.8 Ms1983 Sea of Japan earthquake日本海中部地震Nihonkai-chubu jishinoff coast 50 miles (80 kilometers)from Noshiro, Akita Prefecture000104104Rising up to 30 feet (10 meters) above the coastline, the tsunami created by this earthquake was observed throughout a wide area along the Sea of Japan's coast and caused damage from Tsuruoka to Goshogawara. 100 people lost their lives to the tsunami, including seawall construction workers and beachgoers. In total, 104 people were killed. Soil liquification was widely observed through the affected area.
000000001984-09-14-0000September 14, 19846.3 Ms1984 Otaki earthquake長野県西部地震Nagano-ken-seibu jishinMount Ontake, Otaki, Nagano Prefecture00002929Overall, 29 people were killed and 10 injured.
000000001993-07-12-0000July 12, 19937.7 Mw1993 Hokkaidō earthquake北海道南西沖地震Hokkaidō Nansei Oki Jishin42°51′04″N139°11′49″E / 42.851°N 139.197°E / 42.851; 139.197000202 202
000000001994-12-28-0000December 28, 19947.7 Mw1994 offshore Sanriku earthquake三陸はるか沖地震Sanriku-haruka-oki Jishin40°27′04″N143°29′28″E / 40.451°N 143.491°E / 40.451; 143.4910000033[56]
000000001995-01-17-0000January 17, 19957.3 MwGreat Hanshin earthquake兵庫県南部地震
Hyōgoken Nanbu Jishin
(Hanshin-Awaji Daishinsai )
northern end of Awaji Island0064346,434 An earthquake in Japan that occurred on Tuesday January 17, 1995 at 05:46 JST in the southern part of Hyōgo Prefecture. It measured Mw 6.8 on the Moment magnitude scale (USGS),[57] and Mj7.3 on the revised (7.2 on the old) JMA magnitude scale.[58] The tremors lasted for approximately 20 seconds. The hypocenter of the earthquake was located 16 km (9.9 mi) beneath its epicenter,[58] on the northern end of Awaji Island, 20 km (12 mi) away from the city of Kobe.
000000001998-05-04-0000May 4, 19987.5 Mw1998 Ryukyu Islands earthquake石垣島南方沖地震Ishigakijima nanpō-oki jishin22°18′N125°18′E / 22.30°N 125.30°E / 22.30; 125.300The epicentre was in the Philippine Sea, far off the coast (260 km from Ishigaki Island, Japan, 400 km from Basco, Philippines, and 425 km from Hualian, Taiwan).[59]
000000002001-03-24-0000March 24, 20016.7 Mw2001 Geiyo earthquake2001年芸予地震Nisen-ichi-nen Gēyo Jishin34°04′59″N128°01′12″E / 34.083°N 128.020°E / 34.083; 128.0200000022
000000002003-09-25-0000September 25, 20038.3 Mw2003 Hokkaidō earthquake2003年十勝沖地震Nisen-san-nen Tokachi-oki Jishin41°47′N143°52′E / 41.78°N 143.86°E / 41.78; 143.860000011An earthquake occurring in Hokkaido on September 25, 2003. It measured 8.3 on the Moment magnitude scale and caused extensive damage to roads all around Hokkaido, several power outages, and landslides which resulted in further damage.[60]
000000002004-10-23-0000October 23, 20046.9 Mw2004 Chūetsu earthquake新潟県中越地震Chūetsu JishinOjiya, Niigata00004040Occurred at 5:56 p.m. (local time) on Saturday, October 23, 2004. The initial earthquake caused noticeable shaking across almost half of Honshū, including parts of the Tohoku, Hokuriku, Chūbu, and Kantō regions.
000000002005-03-20-0000March 20, 20057.0 Mw2005 Fukuoka earthquake福岡県西方沖地震Fukuoka-ken Seihō Oki JishinFukuoka PrefectureIn the Genkai Sea about 6 km (3.7 mi) northwest of Genkai Island at the mouth of Fukuoka Harbor0000011This earthquake struck Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan at 10:53:40 JST on March 20 and lasted for approximately 50 seconds. The quake occurred along a previously unknown fault in the Genkai Sea, North of Fukuoka city, and the residents of Genkai Island were forced to evacuate as houses collapsed and landslides occurred in places. Investigations subsequent to the earthquake determined that the new fault was most likely an extension of the known Kego Fault that runs through the center of the city.
000000002005-08-16-0000August 16, 20057.2 Mw2005 Miyagi earthquake宮城県沖地震Miyagi-ken Oki JishinMiyagi Prefectureabout 55 km (34 mi) due east of the Oshika Peninsula in Miyagi Prefecture0000000A powerful earthquake that struck the east coast of the Japanese island of Honshū at 11:46 (02:46 UTC) on August 16, causing casualties, building collapses and power outages. The earthquake began on Tuesday, August 16, 2005, and affected Japan's northeastern coast. It triggered a tsunami warning, and buildings shook 200 miles away in the capital, Tokyo. It was initially estimated to have a rating of 6.8., and the U.S. Geological Survey later registered it as a 7.2.[61]
000000002006-11-15-0000November 15, 20068.3 Mw2006 Kuril Islands earthquake2006年千島列島沖地震Nisen-roku-nen Chishima Rettō Oki JishinKuril Islands about 160 km (99 mi) due east of the southern tip of Simushir in the Kuril Islands0000000The earthquake happened at 20:29 JST on November 15, 2006, causing a tsunami to hit the Japanese northern coast.
000000002007-01-13-0000January 13, 20078.1 Mw2007 Kuril Islands earthquake2007年千島列島沖地震Nisen-nana-nen Chishima Rettō Oki Jishin46°28.8′N154°04.48′E / 46.4800°N 154.07467°E / 46.4800; 154.074670000000The earthquake happened at 1:23 p.m. JST (04:23 UTC) and resulted in a tsunami warning but did not cause significant damage.[62] The epicentre was located 95 km to the south east of the 2006 Kuril Islands earthquake that struck a few weeks earlier.
000000002007-03-25-0000March 25, 20076.9 Mw2007 Noto earthquake能登半島地震Noto Hantō JishinIshikawa Prefectureabout 11 km (6.8 mi) due west of the southern end of the town of Wajima0000011At 9:42 a.m., a magnitude 6.9 earthquake, struck the Hokuriku region of Japan, near the Noto Peninsula. The earthquake shook the city of Nanao and the town of Anamizu with a seismic intensity of 6+ on Japan's shindo scale. One death, in the city of Wajima, and at least 214 injuries have been reported. A tsunami advisory was immediately made for the Kaga coast and Noto coast, and a 10–20 cm wave hit shore about 30 minutes later.[63]
000000002007-07-16-0000July 16, 20076.6 Mw2007 Chūetsu offshore earthquake新潟県中越沖地震Niigata-ken Chūetsu Oki JishinNiigata Prefectureabout 29 km (18 mi) west of Niigata00001111The earthquake[64]) was a powerful magnitude 6.6 earthquake[65][66] that occurred 10:13 a.m. local time (01:13 UTC) on July 16, 2007, in the northwest Niigata region of Japan. The earthquake shook Niigata and neighbouring prefectures. The city of Kashiwazaki and the villages of Iizuna and Kariwa registered the highest seismic intensity of a strength 6 on Japan's shindo scale, but the quake was felt as far away as Tokyo.[65] Eleven deaths and at least 1,000 injuries have been reported, and 342 buildings were completely destroyed, mostly older wooden structures.[65][67][68]
000000002008-06-14-0000June 14, 20086.9 Mw2008 Iwate–Miyagi Nairiku earthquake岩手・宮城内陸地震Iwate Miyagi Nairiku JishinIwate Prefectureabout 1 km (0.62 mi) east of Narusawa Onsen in northwest Iwate Prefecture00001212This earthquake struck the central Tōhoku region, in northeastern Honshū, Japan.[69]
000000002009-08-09-0000August 9, 20097.0 Mw2009 Izu Islands earthquake2009年東海道南方沖の地震Nisen-kyū-nen Tōkaidō nanpō-oki Jishin33°08′38″N138°02′24″E / 33.144°N 138.040°E / 33.144; 138.040, depth 303.1 km0[70][71]
000000002009-08-11-0000August 11, 20096.6 Mw2009 Shizuoka earthquake駿河湾地震Suruga-wan Jishin33°48′N138°30′E / 33.8°N 138.50°E / 33.8; 138.50, depth 20.0 km0000011[72]
000000002010-02-26-0000February 26, 20107.0 MwRyūkyū Islands earthquake沖縄本島近海地震Okinawa-hontō-kinkai Jishin25°54′07″N128°25′01″E / 25.902°N 128.417°E / 25.902; 128.417, depth 22.0 km0000011[73]
000000002010-12-21-0000December 21, 20107.4 MwBonin Islands earthquake父島近海地震Chichijima-kinkai Jishin26°51′58″N143°44′20″E / 26.866°N 143.739°E / 26.866; 143.739, depth 14.9 km0[74]
000000002011-03-09-0000March 9, 20117.2 Mw2011 Tōhoku earthquake foreshock東北地方太平洋沖地震(Foreshock)
Tōhokuchihō Taiheiyō Oki Jishin
(Higashi Nihon Dai-Shinsai)
38°25′26″N142°50′10″E / 38.424°N 142.836°E / 38.424; 142.836, depth 32 km[75]
000000002011-03-11-0000March 11, 2011
Earthquakes M5.5+ around Japan (1900-2016)
M7.0-7.9=163 EQs, M8.0+=14 EQs.[1]


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